February 26, 2012
Hana al-Shalabi, an imprisoned Palestinian held under administrative detention without charge or trial, has been engaged in an open-ended hunger strike since her re-arrest on February 16, 2012. Now that Khader Adnan’s heroism has opened the eyes of the world to the struggles of Palestinian prisoners, it is imperative to keep the pressure on for Hana al-Shalabi.
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Hana al-Shalabi – like Khader Adnan – needs international solidarity and support for her case to amplify her voice and that of her nearly 5,000 fellow Palestinian prisoners, and to make it clear that the people of the world will not accept the abuse and arbitrary detention of Palestinians by the Israeli occupation. Send a letter now to Israeli officials demanding her freedom.
Hana al-Shalabi was released from an Israeli prison in October 2011 in a prisoner exchange agreement; prior to her release, she had been held for more than 30 months. During that time, she was never charged with any crime nor tried; she spent nearly three years in arbitrary administrative detention.
Hana has been on hunger strike since February 16. On February 23, Hana’s parents both joined in her open-ended hunger strike. Hana’s brother, Samir, was killed by Israeli occupation military forces invading their village of Burqin in September 2009, and her sister, Huda, was also previously held without charge or trial under administrative detention.
After only four months released, Hana was once again arrested – and again, not accused of any crime. Once again, she has been sentenced to six additional months of administrative detention – renewable indefinitely, held arbitrarily. The targeting of Palestinian former prisoners for re-arrest and continued arbitrary administrative detention is not uncommon – Khader Adnan himself spent eight terms in administrative detention.
It is clear that Hana al-Shalabi was targeted for continuing imprisonment so quickly after her apparent release, and once again accused of nothing, except for unreviewable, unaccountable “secret evidence.”
Administrative detention violates the right to a fair trial as recognized in the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights. It is a practice that is used to silence Palestinians without ever exposing the reality of such actions to the light of day – even in the rigged military court systems. Amnesty International has joined Palestinians and prison rights activists in demanding an end to administrative detention. Administrative detainees have vowed to boycott their hearings, demanding an end to the injustice.
Hana al-Shalabi’s hunger strike is a demand for dignity, for justice and freedom, building on the sixty-six day hunger strike of Khader Adnan, which drew the eyes of the world to the bitter reality of administration through his courage and sacrifice. Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners participated in a 23-day hunger strike in October 2011, demanding an end to isolation, abuse, denial of family visits, and the long-term isolation of Palestinian leaders such as Ahmad Sa’adat; Israeli promises to end isolation, aimed to secure the end of the strike, proved to be false.
Hana al-Shalabi must be released immediately, and international action is urgent.